For the time being, we should all have pride, respect and envy for Johnny Football

Posted Monday, Feb. 18, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

Watch video

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

engel There should not be a Longhorn, Horned Frog, Mustang, Red Raider or any other Texas-affiliated fan or alum who looks at Johnny Manziel with anything other than enormous respect, pride and envy.

Respect because he did something no other college football player has done in winning the Heisman Trophy as a freshman.

Pride because what Johnny did this season represented the great state of Texas as well as any football player since  …   well, RGIII.

Envy because he’s not your quarterback and, well, just Google search the pictures; from the pretty girlfriend to the parties to the courtside seats to kickin’ it with LeBron James to Jay Leno. Manziel said one of his new best friends is rapper Wale (yes, I had to look up the spelling).

“I’ve never had more fun playing football in my life,” he said.

He may never again, so squeeze this ride for as long as you can, Johnny.

The man forever known as Johnny Football made it to the Fort Worth Club on Monday to receive another trophy, this time the Davey O’Brien Award as the greatest quarterback in the history of the sport (at least in 2012).

At this point, the easy sell is to say that what we have here is a young man who is facing potentially the greatest fall in the history of college football. Barring another Heisman and a BCS title, there is no way his ensuing seasons can match the first.

And those who say that may be right, but who cares?

What if he is better?

Why not just celebrate him for what he did than skewer him for what he has not even tried to do?

It’s still a new year, and it’s cool to be bold and think big: By the time Johnny Football leaves College Station, not only will he will be regarded as the best player in the history of that institution but as one of the best college players this state has ever seen.

Even if the Aggies don’t do as well in ’13 as they did in ’12, it would be an insult to say that Johnny Football was the football equivalent to that girl who sings that stupid song Call Me Maybe.

What he did was not over the course of a single game. He did it for the entire season against some of the best teams in the nation.

He embarrassed Alabama’s “amateur” defense.

Manziel did more in one season of college football than many of his predecessors have done in four. Nothing Manziel does from today until the end of his career will change the memories he created for himself, his teammates, their university and their following.

Because the NCAA prohibits players — sorry, student athletes — from receiving a check, Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin, director of athletics Eric Hyman and the A&M board of regents should agree to give Manziel a “golden parachute” when he does decide to leave. And not just the royalty trademark rights to “Johnny Football.”

Every A&M fan who followed this season will fondly recall 2012 as a great year, and no matter what Manziel does from here until the end, he should be warmly received in College Station as a football hero.

The same is true for former Texas quarterback Vince Young. He may be taking out six-figure loans to throw himself a party, and he may have stunk it up as an NFL quarterback, but there isn’t a Longhorns fan who would not buy the man a steak dinner for what he did when he was attending college in Austin.

By the looks and sounds of it, Manziel is already kicking around the idea of leaving for the NFL. He would be silly not to. Shorter guys who can run and throw are now NFL chic, and by this time next year Manziel will be eligible to apply for the draft.

“I love A&M and I love everything about it, so when the time comes I think it will be a hard decision,” he said.

That decision is a little less than a year away. Until then there is still the matter of playing Alabama at home, taking those pesky online courses, trying doggedly to avoid Instagram and Twitter, and seeing if he can do it all over again, only better.

He may. He may not.

Either way, it still sure is great to be Johnny Football.

Mac Engel, 817-390-7697 Twitter: @macengelprof

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?

Wednesday, April 16Full Scoreboard
Tampa Bay0Final | Box
Baltimore «3
Pittsburgh0Final | Box
Cincinnati «4
Chicago Cubs0Final | Box
NY Yankees «3
St. Louis1Final | Box
Milwaukee «5
NY Mets «5Final | Box
Chicago Cubs0Final | Box
NY Yankees «2
Atlanta «1Final | Box
Cleveland3Bottom 9th | Box
Detroit2@theBallpark | TV: MLB N, STO, FSN-DET+
Washington «6Final | Box
Seattle2Bottom 8th | Box
Texas0@theBallpark | TV: ROOT-NW, FSN-SW
Boston1Bottom 6th | Box
Chicago WSox1@theBallpark | TV: NESN, WCIU
Kansas City2Top 7th | Box
Houston4@theBallpark | TV: FSN-KC, CSN-HOU
Toronto0Postponed | Box
Oakland0Bottom 1st | Box
LA Angels0@theBallpark | TV: CSN-CA, FSN-W
Colorado0Bottom 1st | Box
San Diego0@theBallpark | TV: ROOT-RM, FSN-SD
Los Angeles0Top 1st | Box
San Francisco0@theBallpark | TV: SNLA, NBC Bay Area
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, April 16Full Scoreboard
Chicago86Final(OT) | Box
Charlotte «91
Indiana «101Final | Box
Washington «118Final | Box
Brooklyn85Final | Box
Cleveland «114
Dallas864th Qtr 5:52 | Box
Memphis84TV: FSN-SW, SportSouth, ESPN
Philadelphia934th Qtr 5:20 | Box
Miami82TV: CSN-PHI, SunSports
Atlanta «111Final | Box
Utah1074th Qtr 0:11 | Box
Minnesota107TV: ROOT-RM, FSN-N
Houston100Final | Box
New Orleans «105
Toronto904th Qtr 2:21 | Box
New York88TV: Sportsnet 360, MSG
Detroit1094th Qtr 3:20 | Box
Oklahoma City102TV: FSN-DET, FSN-OK
LA Lakers «113Final | Box
San Antonio100
Golden State 4/16 10:30 PM ET
Denver TV: ESPN, CSN-BA+, Altitude
LA Clippers 4/16 10:30 PM ET
Portland TV: FSN-PT, KGW
Phoenix 4/16 10:30 PM ET
Sacramento TV: FSN-AZ, CSN-CA
Full Scoreboard
Full Scoreboard
No games this week
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, April 16Full Scoreboard
Montreal4OT 9:00 | Box
Tampa Bay4TV: CNBC, CBC, RDS, SunSports
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Columbus3Final | Box
Pittsburgh «4
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. Pittsburgh leads series, 1-0.
Dallas01st Prd 18:18 | Box
Anaheim0TV: NBCSN, TSN
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Full Scoreboard